Category Archives: Patton Oswalt

(A Bit Fewer Than) 1000 Words: 45’s World

I just came across something Patton Oswald wrote during the depths of the pandemic. The gist of it was, the COVID-19 lockdown turned the world into the same kind of hellscape that the 45th President of the United States has lived in, in his head, all his sad, lonely life.

The 45th POTUS didn’t cause the pandemic and the lockdown, but there’s no question he made it one hell of a lot worse than it could have been, starting with his first public utterances regarding the disease. It was all a big fake, he claimed, a hoax perpetrated by his enemies, the Democrats, to make him look bad. From that moment on, the whole COVID and/or vaccine denialism thing spread like…, well, a global virus.

Anyway, here’s Oswald’s peek into 45’s awful, grim mind (all sic):


Donald forced America to live in the only reality HE’s comfortable in. Everybody’s huddled at home, watching TV, eating takeout food, clumsily promoting themselves on Zoom and Til Tok just to stay alive. The only people allowed outside are the people he never sees or acknowledges, the ones who replace the water bottle and cedar shavings in the hamster pen he loves. The act of quietly creating something you like, and having it speak for itself? Loathsome to him. Horrifying. He’s ended all of that. He hates movies, is indifferent to music, even kind of hates sports – because none of them celebrates him. So..they’re gone. A FEW live concerts are allowed – defiant, angry, super-spreader death-throngs that celebrate the “fake plaque” reality he’s decreed. The sports that are played are played in empty stadiums full of cut-outs like Rupert Pupkin’s basement, which is how Donald interacts with the world in his mind. Small business? A quiet, contented person who just wants to run a little used book store or bike shop or boxing gym or restaurant because that’s what they love, and could care less about GLOBAL DOMINATION? Wiped off the face of the earth. Donald can’t stand that. Artisans. Craft. Skills and soul. Hates them. So they’re gone. We are literally living in Donald’s curdled reality, now and forever. And it isn’t that he enjoys (or hates or even feels anything for) endless TV and take-out food and self-promotion and bragging in place of competence and mastery. The joy comes from seeing how miserable everyone else is. He doesn’t want to run around with the other kids playing soccer or hide and seek – but it tickles him to no end to have his dad call the cops and ruin everyone’s chill, goofy fun. Finally, everyone experiences the world the way lonely, spiteful little Donald does, the way he has his whole life. An endless, terrified hustle.

Again, that whole passage is reproduced exactly as originally written, so don’t email me with corrections (even though I generally appreciate that kind of care and attention in my readers).

Oswald has gotten into the ex-president’s head as few people ever have before.

Along the same lines, another jokester, Bill Maher, asked the other day on his HBO show, Real Time, the one question nobody’s been able to answer about the ex-president.

Maher muses: “Someone needs to explain to me how there have been over 1200 books written about the Trump presidency, books that were mostly competing to reveal every detail of his life, and not one of them tells me the one thing I’m most curious about: Who is Donald Trump fucking?”

The idea being, of course, that Melania clearly would rather be touched by a tarantula. “He’s fucking somebody,” Maher continues, “and it’s not Melania and it’s not nobody. He’s a dog and always has been….”

My take is, despite the infamous Access Hollywood tape and the ex-president’s carefully cultivated playboy image from the rollicking ’70s and ’80s, he has never enjoyed sex. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he engaged in procreation either gaggingly or through the use of artificial insemination. He strikes me as akin to radical religious fundamentalists who only copulate through holes in the sheet.

He’s a notorious mysophobe who famously eschews even shaking hands with other human beings and washes his hands more than an overworked scrub nurse. He’s forever angry and bitter and aggrieved and never truly smiles or laughs. He knows no pleasure, as Oswald suggest above. How, then, can he enjoy the ultimate pleasure? And what better reason could he have for insisting his wives and purported paramours sign non-disclosure agreements?

No, Bill Maher, he doesn’t have to be fucking somebody. If I’m right about that, it goes along way to explain him.

The Pencil Today:


“I had a romance novel inside me, but I paid three sailors to beat it out of me with steel pipes.” — Patton Oswalt


Today’s Bloomington-area events at the click of a button.


I thumbed through “Fifty Shades of Grey” the other day. You’ve heard of the book, no doubt.

Number one on the New York Times Best Seller list, viral marketing phenomenon, has sold more than 10M copies, gave birth to the newly-coined genre “mommy porn.”

Here’s the bad news: don’t get your panties in a bunch over it. The sex scenes are as tepid as anything in any cheap, bodice-ripping romance novel you can get in a grocery store.

Swear to god, the author, some previously anonymous keyboard banger named E.L. James, refers to men’s junk as their “manhood” and even once, when describing a scene wherein the heroine unzips a man’s fly, refers to what pops out as simply, “him.”

Oh, the sizzlingness of it all!

James, Author of Th… Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z…, Oh, Sorry

So, if “50…” isn’t good for the sex then it’s good for nothing. Save your dough.


Meg Whitman lost her bid to win the California governor’s race in 2010.

As you know, she was the big boss over at eBay at the time and now she runs Hewlett-Packard. She ran, as all business big shots do, as a candidate who knows how to run a corporation. California voters didn’t buy it; they elected retread Jerry Brown instead.

Whitman Knows Business

Whitman yesterday announced that H-P will commence the biggest lay-off in its long history. Some 27,000 poor saps are going to lose their jobs. Whitman told reporters that the lay-offs won’t be easy but “they’re absolutely critical for the long-term health of the company.”

Which puzzles me. Weren’t the 27,000 part of “the company”? Looks like their long-term health prospects are awfully dicey right about now.

A couple of guys named Hewlett and Packard, natch, started the biz in a garage back in 1939. The two were worth a tad more than $500 at the time.

Hewlett-Packard World Headquarters, 1939

By the turn of the century, H-P had become a multinational corporation, ranked in the top ten in the Fortune 500, and shelling out billions to take over competitors and vendors.

Hewlett and Packard ran the joint until they were doddering old men in the 80s and 90s. Since 2000, H-P has had a total of six CEOs.

You know, the type of folks we ought to be voting for because they know how to run corporations.

H-P hasn’t been doing well of late. Fewer people are buying its computers and those in the know say the outfit isn’t being run properly.

Naturally, the rank and file will suffer because those at the top have done a lousy job.

But, you know, we ought to vote for people because they’d run big companies.

See, when they get into office and times become tight, they know how just what to do. They can lay off a few million citizens.

Mitt Would Know Just What To Do


I pride myself on being a contrarian. If I could, I’d stop breathing because, you know, that’s what everybody else does.

Anyway, many of my fellow literates would sneer at me because I believe that Gertrude Stein was a fraud.

You know her: “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” Sheesh.

Stein was part of a famously terrifying lesbian couple, the other half of which was Alice B. Toklas, who was responsible for the pair’s only real contribution to world culture, her hash-laden brownies (the recipe for which she stole, BTW.)

The Happy Couple

Anyway, Mental Floss has a fabulous quiz that truly puts old Gert into perspective. MF collects 11 different quotations from either Stein’s “writings” or Jose Canseco’s Tweets.

Remember Jose Canseco? Lunkheaded major league baseball player who loaded up on steroids and went out with bimbos even more brainless than he was? Canseco was chasing down a fly ball in the outfield once, he missed it, the ball clunked off his head, and bounced into the stands for a home run. You know, that Jose Canseco.

The Mental Floss quiz challenges you to determine who’s responsible for each quotation. I took the quiz. I swear on a stack of Bibles I could not tell who said what. Try it yourself.

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